Chair Bradley’s statement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Regional Chair Jim Bradley offered the following statement in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
“Today, we join with Canadians across in the country in observing the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Today is a recognition of the lasting generational impacts of residential schools in Canada, and an opportunity to honour the survivors, as well as their friends, their family members and their communities as a whole.
On this occasion, we should pause and reflect on the more than 150,000 Indigenous children from across Canada who were violently separated from their families and their communities as a way to systemically erase their culture, language, traditions and way of life. This appalling practice continues to have a severely negative impact on Indigenous people across Canada.
As Regional Chair, I recognize the injustices, intergenerational trauma and significant harm the harsh realities of colonialism had on Indigenous people in Niagara, and across Canada. It is only by our ownership of these stark realities that we can start to move forward together, building a more fair and equitable future.
Here in Niagara, we continue to work in partnership with Indigenous peoples to take meaningful steps and make strategic investments in our effort to close the gaps that still exist in our community. As a Regional Council, we have taken numerous opportunities to learn from Indigenous leaders in our community as a way to better understand how we may take action on our responsibilities under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action.
We recognize there is still much to do in regard to this issue, and together with in partnership with Indigenous people across Niagara, we will continue to make progress together.
On behalf of Niagara Regional Council, I encourage all Niagara residents to take this day as an opportunity to learn more about the lasting impacts of residential school in Canada and reflect on the part that each of us can play in meaningful reconciliation. Finally, I also encourage everyone to wear an orange shirt today as a way to help spread awareness that every child matters.”
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